Conceptual Designs for a Mixed-use Development in Downtown Sarasota

Probably the best thing happening right now in downtown Sarasota is that the new Rosemary Overlay District allows for residential densities of 70 dwelling units per acre! This is a game changer, since increasing density increases access to downtown. But the opportunity is ending in 2016, when the overlay expires. It will be great to see Cityside Apartments built, and who knows what other higher density mixed-use developments are in our near future.

These conceptual designs are for a project that I started at the beginning of 2015, but regretfully are not going to be built. But it is fun to share the process and possibilities for the site, while increasing awareness of forward-thinking planning for downtown Sarasota. Three design options are included here.

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2014 World Environment Day in Sarasota

I was invited to present as a panelist at the World Environment Day forum in June 2014 at Mote Marine. The theme of World Environment Day centered on the release of the United Nation’s Small Island Developing States Report, and five panelists addressed how Sarasota is addressing the findings and concerns in the report. The panelists included:

  • Patricia Beneke, Director for the UNEP Regional Office for North America
  • Barbara Lausche, Director of the Marine Policy Institute at Mote
  • Sara Kane, Public Outreach Manager for the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program
  • Dr. Jennifer Schafer, Executive Director of the Science and Environment Council of Southwest Florida
  • Tony Stefan, past chair of the Myakka River Branch of the United States Green Building Council

It was a privilege to participate in this unique event, and I learned a great deal from our hosts, the Report, and the panelists! My presentation on the Green Building Economy begins at 53:00.

Presentation on CO2 Emissions and the Built Environment

I was invited to present to a joint session of the AIA Gulfcoast Chapter and the Nation Discussion Group in September, 2013. The theme of the event was Global Warming and Architecture. Joel Fedder, John Lambie and I presented. As the keynote speaker, I broadened the familiar discussion of architecture, the design of individual buildings and their impacts on the environment, to encompass the built environment as a whole.

The main theme of the presentation centers on placemaking, and how a design ethic that places human beings at the center of planning and design decisions can have multiple knock-on effects, reduction of carbon emissions being one of them.

Coastal Architecture for Our 21st Century – Three Home Designs

Adelia Avenue House - Small Green Home Design - Front Yard


Introducing the Adelia Avenue, Goodrich Avenue, and Gillespie Avenue Houses! All three home designs shown here are forward-thinking and innovative solutions to urban living and a low-carbon lifestyle for Sarasota, Florida.

The Adelia Avenue House

An Efficient Layout

These green home designs find a balance between domestic comfort on one hand, while limiting size on the other. Efficient floor plans form the essence of green living: every square foot of the home needs to be climate controlled, generally consuming fossil fuel resources and polluting the atmosphere in the process. Where the building itself is concerned, all of it exists through the extraction, manufacture and transportation of material resources. Simply by reducing their size, these designs reduce the impacts that buildings and their construction place on the environment.
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Exploring Mega Malls in Kuala Lumpur

My itinerant and exploratory disposition has landed me a guest blogger spot on Archinect. It’s a nice opportunity to structure my travels, while exploring building types and real estate developments that defy easy description. Truly, the shopping mall developments in Kuala Lumpur stand out as monuments to commerce; they are worlds within a world.

See for yourself on my Archinect blog: Kuala Lumpur Mega Malls

Our Place in Time: Considerations for Green Development


Sometimes it is hard to tell that you are in Sarasota. It would be difficult to count how many miles of our civic rights-of-way eerily resemble those in Jacksonville, Atlanta, Indianapolis or Los Angeles. While travelling our public thoroughfares, it is all too common to see the same signs, color themes and products competing for attention, repeated over and over. The cadence and melody may vary but the refrain does not: a Bed Bath and Beyond begets a Taco Bell signals a Jiffy Lube ahead. Continue reading “Our Place in Time: Considerations for Green Development”

Rainwater Cisterns in Practice

Integrated Water Management Diagram

While working on the Geraldson Community Farm Barn, we undertook an Integrated Water Management Plan (IWMP) that scientifically addressed water supply sources and consumption demands in the Barn facility. We incorporated a variety of water conservation strategies in the Barn including a gray water recovery system, rainwater cisterns and low-flow fixtures. Steven Suau, of Progressive Water Resources, was a member of the team and brought valuable design optimization tools to the discussion. Continue reading “Rainwater Cisterns in Practice”

A Theory of Passive Cooling Methods in Sarasota

It may be readily assumed that the most energy efficient approach to green building in Sarasota will work within the thermodynamics of our climate. The first priority of sustainability is to reduce energy demands, and then secondarily to supply those reduced demands through greener sources of energy. While this subject deserves a more thorough exposition, it should be stated that a client desiring an environmentally sustainable building would first agree to live in a more sustainable way. Continue reading “A Theory of Passive Cooling Methods in Sarasota”

2010 Terreform ONE Prize Entry

Terreform ONE Prize Entry - Aztec Gardens- Multi-Modal Transport

I developed this design as an entry for the Terreform ONE prize competition. The concept is an agricultural community founded in the headwaters of the Kissimmee River Basin. The project draws its inspiration from Meso-American Chinampas. The name “Aztec Gardens” is a tongue-in-cheek nod to Florida’s unparalleled history of marketing idyllic communities with exotic names.

Terreform ONE Prize 2010 brief: Here